Immunohistochemical detection of hypoxia in mouse liver tissues treated with pimonidazole using "in vivo cryotechnique"

Nobuo Terada, Nobuhiko Ohno, Sei Saitoh, Shinichi Ohno

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34 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate hypoxic cells in live mouse liver tissues, immunohistochemistry for protein adducts of reductively activated pimonidazole (PARaPi) was performed using the "in vivo cryotechnique (IVCT)" followed by freeze-substitution fixation. This method was used because cryotechniques have some merits for examining biological events in living animal organs with improved time-resolution compared to conventional perfusion and/or immersion chemical fixation. Pimonidazole was intraperitoneally injected into living mice, and then after various times of hypoxia, their livers were quickly frozen by IVCT. The frozen liver tissues were freeze-substituted in acetone containing 2% paraformaldehyde, and routinely embedded in paraffin wax. De-paraffinized sections were immunostained for PARaPi. In liver tissues of mice without hypoxia, almost no immunostained cells were detected. However, in liver tissues with 30 s of hypoxia, some hepatocytes in the pericentral zones were strongly immunostained. After 60 s of hypoxia, many hepatocytes were immunostained with various degrees of staining intensity in all lobular zones, indicating different reactivities of pimonidazole in the hepatocytes to hypoxia. At this time, the general immunoreactivity also appeared to be stronger around the central veins than other portal areas. Although many hepatocytes were immunostained for PARaPi in the liver tissues with perfusion fixation via heart, those with perfusion via portal vein were not immunostained. Thus, IVCT is useful to detect time-dependent hypoxic states with pimonidazole treatment in living animal organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 09-2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Histology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Cell Biology


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